February 5, 2013
Dear Mr. Buffett,
As I prepare to speak to the Canadian newspaper industry here in Toronto tomorrow, I couldn’t help but notice that some of the potential drivers for the thriving Canadian newspaper industry might help us in our journey to revitalize the American papers.
Most notably, Sandy MacLeod, a Canadian newspaper marketing man, has pointed out that there seems to be a correlation between higher civic engagement (as measured against voter turnout) and high newspaper readership.
As we look to invest in our existing portfolio, perhaps we should focus on raising civic debate in a more organized and high-profile way for the newspapers we publish. Furthermore, perhaps we should be looking to embrace other newspapers in markets with high voter turnout.
By the way, North Carolina’s Guilford County (where your latest newspaper acquisition took place) had a 2012 voter turnout rate of 70%. A perfect place to own a paper!
Have a great week with your new paper!
Call me anytime if you’d like to chat about this further.